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Proof-of-Work Debate Stalls European Union’s Decision On Cryptocurrency Bill

The debate over crypto mining and energy consumption has stalled European Union’s votes on the much-anticipated crypto market bill to the excitement of the crypto world. It was announced that the bill, a directive from MiCA, would be voted upon next week, precisely on February 28, in the European Parliament. It will be sent into negotiations between MiCA and the European Commission afterward. 

However, the Economics Committee Chairman and rapporteur Stefan Berger said that the vote had been postponed due to contention over banning crypto mining and energy consumption. According to close sources, some members of Parliament interpreted the bill to be a potential de facto ban on PoW networks. The last-minute changes prompted Berger to delay voting on the bill indefinitely. 

After the contention leaked to the press, the members were heavily trolled. It generated an outcry from the crypto world, and the overwhelmingly negative comments that ensued criticized the amendment. As a result, they withdrew their support to add the new amendment. Berger also explained that the directive didn’t aim to ban the Bitcoin network.

What the MiCA Directive Says

Given the environmental impact of Proof-of-Work activities, the MiCA directive sought to develop effective, more environmentally friendly initiatives to curb the effects. In doing that, the commission would need to eliminate consensus mechanisms that have high energy consumption, emit excessive carbon, and deplete natural resources. 

This directive has been in discussion in the Parliament since 2019, but progress has been made since then. Monday’s Parliamentary vote would have put the nail to the coffin, but unfortunately, it has been delayed. While the EU is yet to publicize an update on the amendments, a draft dating February 21 says that unsustainable consensus algorithms should only be used on a small scale. 

Postponing the Vote Indefinitely Was a Commendable Move

Many in the crypto world commended Berger for postponing the vote indefinitely, saying that several vital issues in the bill needed to be ironed out smoothly and critically analyzed before the next Parliamentary vote. Global Head of Ledger Seth Hertlein noted that everything depended on the MiCA directive, and getting it right was non-negotiable. 

According to Patrick Hansen, Head of Strategy and Growth at Unstoppable Finance, it would be fatal if the EU signed the bill with the proposed amendments. He called on Berger to renegotiate the PoW amendment. However, Hansen remains in the dark on how far the negotiation process will go. 

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